Friday, 14 March 2008

Update: Kazemi Case Reconsidered

Good news for Mehdi Kazemi, the gay Iranian teenager first refused asylum by the UK authorities and then by the Netherlands - countries whose rhetoric on fundamental rights is belied by politically motivated anti-immigrant policies.

Mercifully, widespread public condemnation of Mr Kazemi's possible deportation, where he could face death by hanging, has forced the British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to reconsider his case.

According to the BBC she said: "Following representations made on behalf of Mehdi Kazemi, and in the light of new circumstances since the original decision was made, I have decided that Mr Kazemi's case should be reconsidered on his return to the UK from the Netherlands."

New circumstances? What new circumstances?

The only new circumstances I can see are that no one knew or cared about Mehdi Kazemi's case when it was originally heard, but, following media coverage, they do now.

But then we all know that the only truth the Labour spin machine cares about is opinion polling. So well done to all those who put pressure on this cowardly government to half-way adhere to its Human Rights obligations.

Now what are they going to do about the 1400 rejected asylum seekers who will be made destitute if they don't 'voluntarily' agree to move back to oh-so-safe-Iraq in three weeks time?

Most of these, incidentally, are Iraqi Christians who are currently undergoing a wave of repression so severe that it has been dubbed in some quarters as attempted genocide.

Unlike in Mehdi Kazemi's case, the UK government has CAUSED these people to become asylum seekers in the first place, by invading and occupying their homeland, and creating a civil conflict of mammoth proportions.

Surely we owe them, and the translators we are also failing to protect from crazy jihadists who treat them as traitors, better?

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